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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > When is the best time to check oil?
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Thread: When is the best time to check oil? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-08-2012 10:11 AM
bvander66
Re: When is the best time to check oil?

Allways check just before start up and immediately after oil change. Worked for me the past 20+ years. Also works for most armies that run 1000s of vehicles in extreme conditions.
07-08-2012 09:37 AM
SimonV
Re: When is the best time to check oil?

The best time to check the oil is before it is too late.
07-08-2012 07:40 AM
sawingknots
Re: When is the best time to check oil?

i agree that the oil should be checked before starting but be sure to wipe the stick and reinsert because oil will sometimes climb higher than the actual level,actually the best time to check is anytime you suspect it could be low,hot or cold,just allow a few minutes for most of the oil is draned back into the pan
07-05-2012 05:49 PM
PBzeer
Re: When is the best time to check oil?

Check oil every morning if actively cruising. Otherwise, before starting for the first time each day.

As for most accurate, check after changing oil and filter. What ever it measures on the dipstick at that time, is an accurate reflection of "full".
07-05-2012 05:42 PM
jackdale
Re: When is the best time to check oil?

Checking the oil is one the checks I do BEFORE starting an engine. I also check the coolant overflow (Heater exchanger level, if no overflow) and belts. We also check the absorbent pad below the engine. I give both the water separator and sea strain a peek. And check out the bilge.

Of course, we all do this with our cars too.

Checking belts and the heater exchanger on a hot engine just hurts too much.
07-05-2012 05:33 PM
bljones
Re: When is the best time to check oil?

Checking cold means you get an accurate dipstick read. Oil volume does not increase dramatically enough to offset the amount of oil still returning to the pan after running to make a post- run, still -warm test any more accurate.It may take an hour for a thicker weight oil to return to the pan. in fact, it may be exactly the opposite, since the dipstick is calibrated for cold volume in addition to cold capacity.
07-05-2012 05:23 PM
DrB
Agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith10 View Post
Wasn't disagreeing with you. Just reinforcing that oil level should always be checked before starting the engine. One of my rules, like always checking for water flow from the exhaust. Obviously, I don't check oil level when finished sailing and coming into harbor, but I do check it before going out.
Simplest to check before you start (engine cold), as you state and I do also. The OP just needs to be aware that the hot oil will have more volume than cold oil, so filling an engine the upper limit level, with cold oil, my lead to issues when it has expanded to it's hot volume.

When I bought my replacement filter and changed my oil on my Yanmar (3GM30F) the first time, the Service guy made it a point to let me know to not to over fill the motor and only add a maximum of 2 quarts of oil cold when refilling, even if it said I should fill more, and then run engine. He said after the oil warms up, then check the dipstick add a more only if necessary. Advice I have heeded.

DrB
07-05-2012 04:56 PM
bljones
Re: When is the best time to check oil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvuyxx View Post
When is the best and most accurate time to check the oil on a marine diesel?
Whatever your manual says. Yanmar manual specifies before starting, IE cold.
07-05-2012 04:50 PM
msmith10
Re: Disagree somewhat with responses

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrB View Post
The OP asked when is it the best and most accurate time to check oil on marine diesel. I stand by my advice to check it when the engine/oil is warm.

DrB
Wasn't disagreeing with you. Just reinforcing that oil level should always be checked before starting the engine. One of my rules, like always checking for water flow from the exhaust. Obviously, I don't check oil level when finished sailing and coming into harbor, but I do check it before going out.
07-05-2012 04:34 PM
DrB
Disagree somewhat with responses

The OP asked when is it the best and most accurate time to check oil on marine diesel. I stand by my advice to check it when the engine/oil is warm.

My procedure when I change my oil is to:
  1. Run motor for 10+ minutes.
  2. Allow to cool 10-20 minutes
  3. Suck out/drain oil.
  4. Change filter.
  5. Refill with cold oil to about 3/4 mark.
  6. Turn on motor and allow to circulate for 5 minutes to warm oil and fill filter. Motor is still warm from previous operation.
  7. Recheck oil level and add oil until just below top level mark.

About every 10 h of motor running. I recheck the oil. Usually do while it is cold and add oil if necessary, but only add to ~ 3/4 level. Adding too much oil can be a real mess and cause an over flow.

DrB
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